By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Managing Editor
DEPTFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. — On Friday, the mega site at Rowan College of South Jersey hosted the first teachers in the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced last week that teachers and child care professionals would be among those who could receive the vaccine as the state continues to expand eligibility. Teachers and educators joined community members older than 65, 16-64-year-olds with preexisting medical conditions, first responders, and other essential workers such as health care professionals in being eligible to make an appointment to get vaccinated.
Last week was one of the most productive weeks New Jersey has had when it comes to vaccinating the community. On Monday, the state crossed 2,500,000 total vaccine doses administered, which means that half-a-million people got the vaccine throughout last week. The state is now more than halfway to its initial goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population, or 4.7 million people, within the first six months of the vaccine rollout. New Jersey administered its first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on December 15.
New Jersey’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution has gone relatively well for most. It’s been particularly good at the RCSJ-Gloucester mega site, which has been touted as the best vaccine hub in New Jersey and one of the most efficient in the United States. Rowan College of South Jersey’s mega site has administered more than 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to date.
However, vaccination efforts have still fallen short for some community members who, despite being eligible for months, are still struggling to schedule appointments. New Jersey is working to address this by directly reaching out to residents older than the age of 75 to schedule appointments for vaccinations.
Theresa Kerney, who’s taught cosmetology at Gloucester County’s Institute of Technology for more than 30 years, was the first teacher to be vaccinated at RCSJ-Gloucester’s mega site.
“It’s just wonderful to be selected,” Kerney said. “I feel so honored, and I can’t tell [you] how special that is to me.”
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